Gary Barber's Delegation and jockey Luis Contreras not only destroyed their six rivals in Monday's featured $150,000 Dominion Day Stakes at Woodbine, but also set a track record of 2:01.51 for the mile and one-quarter in the process.
At the finish, Delegation, sent postward the 6-5 choice, proved an effortless nine and one-quarter length winner over James Street, with Alpha Bettor third, after setting all of the fractions, although pressed early by Perfect Afleet.
After a quarter in :24.51, a half in :48.63 and three-quarters in 1:13.34, Delegation picked up the pace and left his foes in the dust, widening at will through the lane for the record-setting score, which clipped .48 seconds off the track record held by Strait of Dover (2:01.99) when winning the 2012 Queen's Plate.
“When this horse is on his game, he's probably as good a horse as I've ever trained,” said trainer Mark Casse. “He has an unbelievable stride. To go a mile and a quarter and to keep running the way he did just shows truly how good he is. When he's on his game he can probably run with any horse in North America.”
It was the sixth win in 12 career starts for the four-year-old gelded son of Speightstown-Cindy's Hero. In addition to his wins, the bay also finished a solid third to Tapizar in last year's Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.
“I had an unbelievable trip,” said Contreras. “I could feel the power underneath (me). It's great to ride horses like this.”
With the $90,000 first place prize, Delegation upped his bankroll to $542,179.
Delegation paid $4.50, $2.80 and $2.10, combining with James Street ($3.30, $2.70) for a $15 exactor (7-6). A 7-6-2 (Alpha Bettor, $3) triactor returned $49.80 while a $1 Superfecta [7-6-2-5 (River Rush)] came back $84.30.
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